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Nearly 1 in 6 D.C. residents uses e-scooters, poll finds

A scooter rider zips along 14th Street NW in Washington. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)
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They’ve been zipping around the District for more than a year, becoming a source of both convenience and consternation. But their ubiquity raises this question: How many people are using electric scooters, and who are they?

A Washington Post-Schar School poll offers some answers.

In all, 7 percent of D.C.-area adults say they rode an electric scooter to get from one place to another in the past year, including about 1 in 6 District residents (16 percent). Five percent of residents in both the Maryland and Virginia suburbs say they have used the scooters.

Read the full poll results

The poll included interviews with 124 scooter riders in the area, allowing for a rough estimate of the group in comparison with the region’s population as a whole.

Scooters are particularly popular among younger adults. Seven in 10 e-scooter riders are younger than 40, compared with about 4 in 10 people of that age in the region overall, according to the latest Census Bureau data. And while 21 percent of the region’s adult population is younger than 30, that jumps to 42 percent of scooter riders.

A 44 percent plurality of scooter riders are white — similar to their share of the region’s population overall — but Hispanics make up an outsize share of scooter riders. Nearly one-quarter of people who rode scooters in the past year are Hispanic, 23 percent, more than the 15 percent of the region’s adult population that is Hispanic. Black residents are underrepresented as users of the devices: While 16 percent are riders, African Americans make up 26 percent of the region’s population.

Among people who ride scooters, 21 percent use them at least a few times a week, 40 percent use them a few times a month and 38 percent use them less often than that.

Scooter riders’ political party affiliations reflect that of the region overall, with about half calling themselves Democrats, 3 in 10 saying they are independents and 1 in 10 identifying as Republicans.

The Post-Schar School poll surveyed a random sample of 1,507 adults living in the Washington area and was conducted by telephone from April 25 to May 2. Seventy-five percent of interviews were conducted on cellphones and 25 percent on landlines. Results from the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; the error margin is 12 points among the subsample of 124 e-scooter riders.

Scott Clement contributed to this report.